India's best bank for SMEs 2019: Yes Bank
Founded in 2004, Yes Bank embraced new thinking from the outset. It saw early on that it would benefit by honing its marketing message and making its brand and branches look consistent and attractive. But it is in serving the country’s army of small and medium-sized enterprises that it really stands out.
Yes Bank rightly secures this award for the second year in a row. Its roster of SME clients reached 139,000 at the end of 2018, up 41% from the previous year, with outstanding loans to smaller firms up 62% over the same period, to Rs375 billion ($5.3 billion).
A long-time supporter of financial inclusion, Yes Bank has lent Rs5.5 billion to support SMEs and micro-sized firms under the rules of a state-backed scheme. It plays a pivotal role in supporting small firms that are owned and run by women or based in low-income states, and it recently teamed up with Wells Fargo and OPIC, the US government’s development finance institution, to channel $150 million in new funding to smaller companies.
As one of India’s most innovative lenders, Yes Bank creates new products tailored to the needs of small companies. These include smart overdrafts, which disburse up to Rs15 million in capital to SMEs struggling to generate a full financial statement.
Its digital Click-to-Credit platform, launched in 2018, helps SMEs to see how much they can borrow. But perhaps Yes Bank’s greatest feat has been its success in getting clients ready for the onset of GST.
India’s single goods and services tax was introduced in July 2017, but firms of all sizes still grapple with the rules and the move to digital that it demands. Yes Bank has more than 100 GST-ready SME branches around the country, and it hosts more than 10,000 annual seminars at 20 locations to help the owners of small companies keep abreast of developments. SMEs flourished under Yes Bank’s outgoing chief executive Rana Kapoor, and will continue to do so under his successor, Ravneet Singh Gill.